Christmas shopping: Just say ‘slow’

December 2, 2010

I hate shopping.

I know that statement might be hard for you to accept given my frequent comments on these pages about loving Bartell Drugs or about having a house chock full o’ stuff, but my trips to Bartell are for necessities only (plus the occasional frivolous bath oil and/or packaged nut purchase), and having a houseful of stuff has more to do with the number of years that we’ve lived here and not the quantity of items that we’ve purchased.

Allow me to illustrate how much I hate shopping:

Around the time that this paper arrives at your home, my two younger sisters and I will be at The Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie for our traditional pre-Christmas champagne breakfast. We’ve been doing this for more than 25 years. It began as my mother’s gift to us, and we’ve continued it since she passed away. After eating (and drinking) breakfast, we shop at The Country Store on the Salish premises.

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Laughing all the way: On the nature of stuff

November 5, 2010

When my sisters and I were children, we moved on an average of every two years. When people used to ask about it, I told them that my father was wanted by the police. He wasn’t really wanted by the police, but he was promoted often, this back in the day when working for a company was like being in the army. You didn’t question it. You just packed and moved. Applying the words “quality of life” to the workplace had yet to occur, except, perhaps, in Quaker Oats marketing meetings.

Having relocated every two years, we were all forced to take serious inventory of what was truly necessary and what wasn’t. After toiling over crates and cartons, you begin to realize that there’s a lot of stuff that you can do without.

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I love a coincidence: Mystery solved

October 18, 2010

When I was young enough to read until 2 a.m. and then go to work all chipper the next day, I was a Robert Ludlum fan. I would suck in his big books like beer at a boring party.

There was a single piece of music that I listened to as I read these, and this was before iPods and CDs and “repeat” buttons, so it required me to actually get up off of my butt and move the needle back to the beginning of the LP when it was over. (Students, please see Wikipedia for explanation.) It was Handel’s “Water Music,” and I listened to it so much that I’m convinced that if given a baton and a willing orchestra with a great sense of humor, I could conduct it today.

So, you can imagine the thrill that ran up my spine when I read an essay about Robert Ludlum’s writing habits and the fact that there was only one piece of music that he listened to as he wrote, one and one only, over and over:

“Elvira,” by the Oak Ridge Boys. No, seriously … it was Handel’s “Water Music.”

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I love a coincidence: mystery solved

October 4, 2010

When I was young enough to read until 2 a.m. and then go to work all chipper the next day, I was a Robert Ludlum fan. I would suck in his big books like beer at a boring party. There was a single piece of music that I listened to as I read these, and this was before iPods and CDs and “repeat” buttons, so it required me to actually get up off of my butt and move the needle back to the beginning of the LP when it was over. (Students, please see Wikipedia for explanation.) It was Handel’s “Water Music,” and I listened to it so much that I’m convinced that if given a baton and a willing orchestra with a great sense of humor, I could conduct it today.

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Laughing all the way: My birthday wish list

August 5, 2010

I turned 60 on July 8. I’d hoped to get down to Massage Envy, because they’re now offering facials and have a special anti-aging treatment, but I didn’t make it in time and ended up turning 60 anyway. Now, I can say funny and obscene things with impunity, leave parties early and flip the lights on and off when family members stay too long after dinner as a reminder that it’s time for them to leave.

Oh wait. I do that already.

Anyhow, there are some things that I’d like to work on or have fixed to suit my new status:

  • People magazine needs to add footnotes, because I don’t know who the hell these people are. I don’t subscribe to People, but have been known to grab it at the hair salon or the gym. I flip through it in the hopes that I might actually recognize someone, but instead I see page after page of long-haired, sullen starlets with their legs crossed as if the bathroom is their next stop, and men so young that I’m betting they still keep their Legos under the bed. Read more

Laughing all the way

July 1, 2010

These questions need answers

I’ve always been far too inquisitive for my own good. At least that’s what the nuns used to tell me in Catholic grade school. I am not, however, so curious that I need to know what Ashton Kutcher is tweeting about on any given day; but I do have a natural interest in the place where I’ve lived for the past 20 years. I have questions, but I don’t have the answers. In fact, the answers may not exist. So let us call this:

Rhetorical Q & A

Q. What is that smell? It happens several times a month: a mysterious odor that’s faintly organic, like a distant pile of onions pulled from the ground and left in the sun. It’s not awful, but you can’t ignore it, either. At first, I thought it was just up here in Olympus, and believing that it might be The Sainted One, I apologized profusely to our closest neighbors. But then, I was in downtown Newcastle one day and got a whiff of it there as well. The prevailing winds come from the southwest. Is it possible that it’s the coffee roasting company near The Landing, and the smell of roasting beans wafts our way and mixes with Interstate 405 fumes and Eau de Seahawk Rookie Sweat?

Q. Why wait for the closest parking spots at the YMCA? Isn’t it all about getting exercise? And speaking of the Y…

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